In the name of God the Most Compassionate and the Most Merciful
SalAllahu Alaika Ya Rasul Allah Wasallam Alaika Ya Habib Allah In the above verse from the Holy Qur’an, which is used by all Muslims when they begin anything, you will notice the word Rahman in Arabic, which in English would translate as the Most Compassionate. This word Rahman comes from the root word “rahm” which means “womb”. This is feminine in gender. God Who is most Compassionate nurtures the world like a fetus in a womb of compassion! He gives to anyone without measure and without distinction. In our world the paradigm of compassion is that of a mother. Moreover, the Qur’an has a whole chapter on Maryam a.s.
Reminiscing a few cherished moments as a mother:
2004 seems to have gone by in a twinkle of an eye! Days, weeks and months have gone by so quickly that it is hard to believe that we are already three months into 2005! Last summer I had the blessed opportunity to be in Cyprus with my children and in a small village called Lefke. Lefke is a remote town in comparison to the other thriving touristy areas such as Gerne or Lefkosia in Turkish/Cyprus. But, nonetheless it is mostly green with lush fruit orchids and an abundance of water. The private gardens and orchids one finds everywhere are well provided for with small water canal systems. This small oasis is full of love, warmth and blessings of Allah, His beloved Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings upon him) and His deputies on earth. In early spring last year we noticed mother swallows feeding their chicks in nests built inside the wooden beams in verandahs of older houses and the kittens playing joyously around the watchful eyes of their mother in the gardens. Here there was peace and joy as if time had stood still. Both my son and daughter took a great liking to the relaxed atmosphere of Lefke Cyprus as compared to their busy lives in college. They also noticed that Turkish Cypriots had much time for family life. There was no rush about anything although the signs of avid consumerism seem to be growing each year. I am very grateful to Allah for providing us the opportunity to be together with my kids last summer. The love an, warmth that was showered on me by the children who are young adults now will forever remain as cherished memories! InshAllah. What does Holy Qur’an say about Mothers and parents in general?
Qur’an points to the respect and love, which is due to our parents and especially, mothers:
And We have enjoined on the human being in (regard to) his two parents the most beautiful conduct. His mother bore him under duress and brought him forth under duress. And his bearing and his weaning are thirty months. At length, when he reaches the age of forty, he says, "My Lord and Sustainer, grant to me that I am thankful for the graciousness that You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may work righteousness pleasing to You, and make my offspring righteous. Surely I turn to You and surely I am of those who submit (to You)." - Surah al-Ahqaf ayah 15
It is a breath of fresh air to see people who take out time from their busy lives and reflect on the many bounties God has bestowed upon them. Amongst the top most on the list of priorities is the rights of parents and especially mothers. We can very subtly but surely forget what Allah reminds us again in the following verse/ayat: To be generous and gentle to them. This will teach us to develop a “beautiful conduct” towards our aging parents. We can achieve this by being patient to them especially if they have reached an old age. Allah teaches us gently and lovingly how to invoke prayers:
Your Lord and Sustainer have decided for you that you do not worship any but Him, and (He has determined) beautiful conduct to the two parents. If one or both of the two of them reaches the greatness of age, so do not say a harsh word to them, but speak to them generously. And lower the wing of humility, out of gentleness, and say, "My Lord and Sustainer, be gentle to them just as they cherished me when I was small." - Surah al-Isra ayat 23-24
Here, God introduces another part of the beautiful conduct which parents are due, which is to take care of them when they are elderly and never to be impatient with them or speak arrogantly to them. It is not a “duty” but a blessing to do so as you are rewarded many times in various ways. Praying for them has been mentioned again. Also notice that Allah SWT has mentioned beautiful conduct to parents immediately after serving Him alone. It is part of worship to take care of family and mankind!
To fully comprehend and digest the verses of the Holy Qur’an Muslims try to follow in the footsteps of their beloved Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings upon him and his blessed family ameen) who became a “walking Qur’an.” The following Holy Hadith or sayings of our beloved Prophet Mohammad SalaAllahu Alaihi Wasalam is related by Abu Huraira and also by the grandfather of Bahz ibn Hakim:
I asked, "Messenger of Allah, to whom should I be dutiful?" He replied, "Your mother." I asked, "Then whom?" He replied, "Your mother." I asked, "Then whom?" He replied, "Your mother." I asked, "Then whom?" He replied, "Your mother." I asked, "Then to whom should I be dutiful?" He replied, "Your father, and then the next closest relative and then the next."
Jahmah: I said to the Holy Prophet, "O Messenger of Allah, I desire to go on a (military) expedition and I have come to consult you." He asked me if I had a mother, and when I replied that I had, he said, "Stay with her because Paradise lies beneath her feet."
“Service to Mankind is Worship of God”
Dinner with Bethany House of Virginia on Valentine’s Day
On February 13th 2004, MWC’s local chapter had its first dinner with the clients of Bethany House of Northern Virginia, an abused women’s shelter. We were looking forward to this event and were very excited. In a preliminary meeting we decided on the following menu: baked chicken, veggies, rice, bread, salad, drinks and desserts such as brownies and lots of fruits. The devotion of our volunteers was remarkable! Even with heavy rain and evening traffic they were on time and ready to meet these families at BethanyHouse after their work. Doris Ward, the director and founder of Bethany House met us with her usual smile and red roses at one of the shelters in Fairfax County. The evening proceeded with setting up dinner table and socializing. MWC also took some toys for the children in this shelter.
On March 9th 2004, MWC also had an annual dinner with TACTS,an abused women’s shelter in Arlington County that MWC has been working with since last year. Asma Gheyoub arranged the menu and motivated the volunteers and friends of MWC to donate the items for the dinner. The dinner went off with great success at St Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Arlington VA.